Professor Vasanthi Venkatesh comments on Ontario's plan to support migrant workers

As Windsor-Essex moves towards reopening, the Government of Ontario announced a temporary foreign workers' plan which includes on-site testing at agri-farm businesses; allowing migrant workers access to Workplace Safety and Insurance Board benefits and protections under the Employment Standards Act; and new public health guidance for asymptomatic workers allowing them to continue working outdoors in isolation.

Professor Vasanthi Venkatesh, director of the Migrant Worker Clinic at Windsor Law and member of the Justice for Migrant Workers advocacy group, argues the province's new plan doesn't address the real problem: Migrant worker labour rights.

"The conditions in the farms is not new," says Professor Venkatesh. "It's just the COVID-19 infections that we're seeing as exposing the unsafe ... conditions that the migrant workers have always worked under."

Professor Venkatesh continues by saying that until meaningful measures are introduced to protect the rights of migrant workers, the province's response to the pandemic will be "ineffectual."

Read the full June 25 story on the CBC Windsor website.

Read the full June 26 story on the CBC Windsor website.